Russia against mandatory greenhouse gas commitments - delegate
(RIA Novosti ) - Russia is against imposing mandatory targets or timetables to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, a Russian delegate to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum said.
A so-called Sydney Declaration calling for dramatic reductions of CO2 emissions has been adopted by the leaders of the 21 APEC nations meeting in Sydney, and once adopted is expected to replace the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, set to expire in 2012.
While the targets are " aspirational ," in the words of Australian Prime Minister John Howard, they do offer the hope that greenhouse gas emissions can eventually be reduced, and global warming reversed.
In particular, the meeting succeeded in persuading developing Asia-Pacific economies, notably China, to accept formal reduction targets at long last.
However, the same obstacles that stymied the Kyoto Protocol will likely stand in the way of the newest agreement, notably resistance by many nations to mandatory reductions, and fears that economic development would suffer should genuine steps be taken to curb emissions.
In that vein, the Russian delegate said that the Japanese proposal to halve CO2 emissions by 2050 should be viewed principally as "a strategic task."
He added that the subject of global warming needed further study to more clearly understand the link between greenhouse gases and climate change.